BY Kolubah Zayzay
Liberian Football fans were made proud Friday when Liberia Football Association Cup (Liberian FA Cup) Winners, Monrovia Club Breweries whipped the most successful football club in Algeria, Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie or JS Kabylie 3-0 at an empty Antoinette Tubman Stadium in central Monrovia.
All three goals came in the second half, the first two, goalkeeping errors.
The game was the first leg in the preliminary round of the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup between the Liberian Cup winners and Algerian giants, JS Kabylie who finished in third spot in the last Algerian top league.
Club Breweries, who has had tough time in the 2016/17 football season in Liberia, began the match on a promising note, becoming the first side to test the visiting goalkeeper.
George Weah, (not Liberia’s soccer legend) should have put the home side ahead in just three minute when Mitis Mulbah shot on goal was deflected into his path. His head-up was too weak for Kabylie Goalkeeper Asselah Malek who tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.
The Algerians seeing that they had height and mass advantage over the Liberians deployed physic in the game which helped them create several goal chances.
Club Breweries keeper Abdulai Koulibaly kept the home side in the game denying the visitors on two occasions.
Koulibaly beautifully save Adel Djarrar 22 yard efforts in the 20th minute, but gave the ball away to Mohamed Boulaouidet whose shot went off target.
Aiboud Samir came close four minutes later in giving the visitors the lead, but the young Abdulai Koulibaly had a tip on the shot which change the direction of the ball, hitting the post, before landing in his hands for safety.
Kabylie players out weighed the Liberian players off the ball on many occasions, but could not find a goal.
Theo Nimely and Nicholas Andrew’s introduction in the second half paid off well for the Breweries who controlled the proceedings with skills and pace.
The home side got the breakthrough in the 58th minute when Kabylie Goalkeeper Asselah Malek’s error allowed Mitis Mulbah to roll the ball in an empty net after the keeper came off his line and missed the ball.
Kabylie tried in vain to find an equalizer, but the Breweries boys got inspiration to win from that Mitis’s 58th minute goal.
Another Asselah’s error saw Breweries increase their lead to 2-0 in the 80th minute when the Algerian Nation Cup Keeper dribbling skill let him down in the eighteen box when he attempted dribbling Benjamin Sarkor. Sarkor won the ball and strike in the Breweries’ second goal.
Nicholas Andrew added the third in the 90th minute to record the biggest win for a Liberian clubs in the Caf club competitions.
Liberian Clubs have not had good showing in Caf club competitions, as they always struggled to past the second round of the preliminaries or reach the group stage.
Monrovia Club Breweries is one of the oldest teams in Liberia, but they are struggle in playing in the Liberian league due to financial constraints.
The Club bear the name of Monrovia Breweries, the biggest producer of Club Beer in Liberia, but the players are not on the company’s salary roaster.
The Club was established in the 80s by employees of the company, but since the war years, the support from the employees appeared to have vanished.
Coach Francis Sarploh a chemist at the company is, the head of the club’s technical setup. He is assisted by his good friend Jeroy Julius. Together, they appeal to the players to play for the club to develop their talents.
Monrovia Club Breweries will travel to Algeria in two weeks’ time for the return leg with their heads high as they are confident that they cannot lose 4-0 to the Algerians who have won 14 domestic titles and six Caf titles.
The Breweries are yet to win the Liberian top division League.